WB approves 500 million USD loan to help Philippines cope with disasters

The World Bank (WB) has approved a 500 million USD loan to help the Philippines cope with natural disasters and climate threats, with a particular focus on protecting schools, health facilities, and human settlements.

The WB emphasised that the Government of the Philippines can quickly draw upon the loan when major natural disasters or health crises hit, minimising the impact on the economy and long-term development.

According to the WB, approximately 60% of the country’s total land area and at least 74% of Filipinos are vulnerable to multiple hazards including typhoons, landslides, floods, storm surges, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Natural disasters regularly damage infrastructure, disrupt the delivery of essential education and health services, and destroy homes and personal belongings, making life harder for many families and pushing some into poverty.

Approximately 78% of public schools and 96% of students in the Philippines are exposed and vulnerable to multiple hazards. Between 202
1 and 2023, around 4,000 schools were damaged due to various disasters, resulting in the disruption of learning continuity for 2 million children.

Ndiamé Diop, WB Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, said that the real benefit of that support is its ability to rapidly deliver crucial services such as healthcare, shelter, and food to those most impacted by disasters or climate events.

It’s about making sure the people who have the least are taken care of and can bounce back immediately after these disaster events, he added.

The World Risk Index 2022 put the Philippines at the top spot for the most disaster-prone country in the world. The archipelago nation is frequently battered by powerful typhoons which triggered flash floods and landslides and rocked by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The bank said natural disasters have killed around 33,000 Filipinos in the past 30 years, and affected about 120 million people./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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